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Reminder of important clinical lesson
Leptospirosis: a globally increasing zoonotic disease
  1. Clare Rock1,
  2. Deirdre Brady2,
  3. Patrick Forde3,
  4. Patricia Lucey1,
  5. Mary Horgan1
  1. 1Department of Infectious Diseases, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland
  2. 2Department of Microbiology, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland
  3. 3Department of Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Clare Rock, clarerock{at}


A 27-year-old previously healthy man was admitted to the intensive care unit with severe jaundice, dyspnoea with haemoptysis, anaemia, thrombocytopenia and acute renal injury. He had no recent history of foreign travel but had been building a shed in his back garden in Cork, Ireland, for the preceding week. The patient's history, clinical observations, haematological and radiological results were all consistent with icteric leptospirosis or Weil's disease. This was confirmed on serological testing. He completed 7 days intravenous ceftriaxone and made a complete recovery. While endemic in tropical climates, leptospirosis incidence is increasing in temperate climates. Recent cases seen in temperate climates can be severe, particularly with pulmonary manifestations. The report of this case serves to increase awareness of this re-emerging potentially fatal infectious disease.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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